Here at SAVVI, we are not just a bunch of technical nerds that love data standards; we’re the practical sort too, and we recognise that just developing standards doesn’t mean anyone will actually use them. It’s vital that we engage the tech industry to understand their needs and their ability to help localgov to use data to identify vulnerability and to understand how best to coordinate a multi-agency response. 

On Thursday 10th December 2020, SAVVI teamed up with TechUK to deliver a workshop to do just that. The SAVVI team wanted an opportunity to hear from the tech sector, for them to learn about SAVVI, and to jointly explore whether or not SAVVI standards could be adopted by the tech sector.

At the workshop, an opportunity was given to tech suppliers to tell the SAVVI team how they have helped local government during the first national lockdown. The range of work that we heard about was wide-ranging: 

  • Microsoft helped local government at all stages of the pandemic from supporting initial response and technology, supporting vulnerability response (by matching people with need), to outbreak management.
  • SAP supported governments across Europe and the UK with a wide range of capabilities that included delivering Track & Trace (in Germany), responding to citizens’ pandemic FAQs, supporting council employees to keep in touch during remote working, collaboration to provide free resources and provision of tech to support coordinated response at the local level.
  • IEG4 has helped their local public sector customers to replace their face to face channel  with IVR/Web Chat bot, supported engagement maximisation using standards with account via SMS and providing the ability for omni-channel proactive communication. They have provided Citizen & Business Support with their intelligent and compassionate approach to debt management, and supported discharge to assess with a progressive web app.
  • Civica created a national covid app with the Department of Health in Northern Ireland. It was the first app of its kind in the UK, and included an interactive symptom checker which reduced pressure on the 111 helpline. Their Community Helper solution imported the shielded list with front-end capabilities to augment data, and was offered free of charge to councils for 6 months. Civica also supported councils with a track and trace solution (built in just 7 days), and created new software solutions to help them provide over £1.6bn in critical business rate grants.

The workshop was an opportunity to introduce a first look at the SAVVI standards. We asked participants to provide us with a sense check as to whether or not this approach would be welcomed by the tech sector. Whilst we understand that the devil will be in the detail, the initial feedback for the SAVVI work was positive.

A consistent set of standards is a fantastic idea and much needed in local gov

Workshop Participant

We really welcome this and I think it will be great to support innovation in this critical area

Workshop Participant

The plan is to work collaboratively with TechUK moving forward as the SAVVI projects and frameworks develop and mature. Watch this space for further updates.